Making AdSense Of New Google Layout Update!
Website page layout is key to customer experience. A new algorithm change has been announced by Google, aimed at penalising eCommerce sites with too many Adsense ads, over three quarters of which are located ‘above the fold’, before scrolling down. While Google actually advises that best results are obtained by a focus on above the fold ad placement, they state ad heavy sites are likely to “not rank as highly”.
“So what is the right number of ads to have on a site landing page?”, is likely to be the first question a site owner will ask. Trying to be Google compliant has never been easy! Last year’s outings by the Google Panda algorithm left many a site seriously mauled, despite howls of indignation by site owners protesting their onsite marketing strategies were within guidelines.
Google is never precisely clear on defining their constantly evolving policy. Site owners suspect most of the time it’s simply about Google’s self interest and increasing monetisation of their own search and social engine in competition against the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Yet what are the guidelines now to determine an acceptable level of ads, their screen resolution, size, and layout? There is even some doubt if an ‘ad’ is defined by Google as only meaning AdSense – or does it also include banners, various types of display advertising, affiliate links and other search engine PPC ads?
Google constantly refers to the immediate experience the visitor first sees when clicking on to a site page. It’s clear that the search engine is concerned with sites, which either lack visible content above the fold or are populated almost in their entirety with ads. Google has made it known that content should not be “obscured or otherwise hard for users to discern quickly”. Once again, the word ‘content ‘ is left open without identifying whether the focus is on text, images, video, social media sharing links, etc.
Google claims the new ‘page algorithm’ update will look “at all the pages across an entire site in aggregate” and will likely impact around 1 per cent of the estimated 3 billion worldwide searches, per day. Depending on the number of pages a site has will affect how efficiently the Googlebot indexes the content when site changes are made, typically, taking several weeks.
The push to force up content quality and customer experience is on again at the start of 2012 and once more, site owners and their online marketing team need to relook at their sites to ensure their Adsense content is not likely to incur a ranking penalty.